15:03 | 05/12/2016 Culture & Tourism
(VEN) - In his recent visit to Vietnam, Head of the South Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) Jung Chang Soo, together with leaders of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), carried out many activities aimed at boosting tourism cooperation between the two countries in 2017.
The VNAT and the KTO sign a memorandum of understanding to boost cooperation
According to the KTO, the Republic of Korea (RoK) received more than 160,000 Vietnamese tourists in 2015, while about 1.1 million Korean tourists visited Vietnam. The number of Vietnamese tourists to the RoK in the first nine months of 2016 grew 50 percent compared with the same period last year and is expected to reach 240,000 by the year’s end. Seeing a 36 percent increase in the number of Korean tourists in the first nine months, Vietnam may welcome a total of 1.5 million of visitors from this country by the year’s end. These results promise further growth in tourism exchanges between the two countries.
In the opinion of experts, however, these results remain incommensurate with the tourism potential of the two sides. Therefore, during his visit, KTO Chief Jung Chang Soo signed memorandums of understanding to boost cooperation with leaders of the VNAT, the Vietnam Airlines Corporation, and the Vietnam Travel and Marketing Transport Joint Stock Company (Vietravel).
Accordingly, the VNAT and the KTO will cooperate and assist each other in developing tourism campaigns, consulting and training activities, as well as in organizing tourism events.
As a strategic partner of the KTO, Vietnam Airlines will associate with the KTO to organize the RoK’s Tourism Year in 2017 to create new tourism services in South Korea using Vietnam Airlines’ flight routes.
The KTO will also coordinate with Vietravel to host the RoK’s Tourism Year in 2017 to boost cooperation in promoting new tourism products and brands.
During his visit, KTO Chief Jung Chang Soo visited the Korean Embassy in Vietnam, Shinhan Bank Vietnam, and signed a memorandum of understanding offering Shinhan Bank Platinum credit card holders exemptions from procedures required to prove their financial status. This information has been disseminated among Vietnamese tourists.
Regarding the potential of the Vietnamese tourism market, Jung Chang Soo said, “Vietnamese tourists currently account for a mere 1.4 percent of the total number of foreign visitors to the RoK. However, the number of Vietnamese tourists to South Korea has grown more than 50 percent annually, ranking second after Chinese Taipei in the Southeast Asian region. The cooperation with our strategic partners, VNAT, Vietnam Airlines, and Vietravel, will contribute significantly to increasing Vietnamese tourists to South Korea in the coming time.”
VNAT General Director Nguyen Van Tuan expected Vietnam will receive two million Korean visitors, and about 400,000 Vietnamese tourists will travel to the RoK next year. To make these expectations come true, it requires closer cooperation between Vietnamese and Korean travel and airlines firms.